Diamond Discourse: The Red and Green Flags of a Solitaires 4Cs

A low-down on the red and green flags of the 4Cs that characterise diamonds for you to make the best decision.

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RING MOUAWAD

Girls, I think we can all come to agreement upon the fact that diamonds are forever. People might come and go, you might travel places but your fave piece of solitaires will always be by your side. That is why they continue to adapt and remodel themselves to tickle our heart’s fancy. And it goes without saying that natural diamonds truly define luxury. But, luxury is no more about adorning the biggest piece of diamond, or even a solitaire —it is understanding the story behind the piece and what makes it so unique.  

However, what are the factors that make a solitaire seemingly special to us? Understanding its red and green flags. Just like our relationships, we find ourselves deducing what works and what doesn’t suffice before committing to our potential partner. For the uninitiated, red flags act as warning signs or signs that maybe a tad bit off or unhealthy. Green flags act as positive indicators and will convince you why you need to make a certain piece of jewellery or even a man an imperative part of your life. 

Ahead, we decode the key attributes of diamonds and explain their red and green flags.

What are the red and green flags to keep in mind when buying diamonds?

In the language of jewellers, a term that you’ll frequently come across when picking the right diamond is ‘4Cs’. The term 4Cs was introduced in the early 1940s by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Founder Robert M. Shipley, a former retailer jeweller. The 4Cs are cut, clarity, colour and carat. Used to explain a diamond’s worth, think of the 4Cs as a barometer to judge your solitaire.  

Consider it as a checklist of all the qualities you want in your man (read: solitaires). It’s 2024 and we are no longer compromising, aim for nothing but the best.

Cut

EARRINGS DIAMONDTREE • PENDANT  HARAKH

When you’re looking for ‘The One’, you must have heard of common solitaire shapes such as princess, round, oval, pear, square, heart among others. However, many confuse the cut of the diamond for its shape.  

The two terms can be confusing at first — but they’re not the same. The cut of a diamond is the most important part of the equation when it comes to an engagement ring’s stunning shine

The two terms can be confusing at first — but they’re not the same. The cut of a diamond is the most important part of the equation when it comes to an engagement ring’s stunning shine.the cut refers to the  diamond’s ability to ‘sparkle’ under the light.  A perfectly cut, geometrically proportioned diamond, allows maximum light to pass through and be reflected through its facets. Why don’t you shine bright by making a careful choice? Afterall, it is a decision for life. A good cut will transform the rough stone, allowing the diamond to showcase its natural brilliance.

Green flag

Opt for a well cut round brilliant diamond featuring a symmetrical shape and a circular outline.  It’s one of the choicest cuts when buying an elegant pair of studs that will offer a dressier finish with every ensemble or even engagement rings. Thanks to their timeless personality.  
And if you want your engagement ring to be as iconic as that of Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, and Paris Hilton—we suggest you opt for an Emerald cut. This cut features a rectangular shape and chiselled step cuts with linear facets. Creating a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect, this cut boasts of 57 facets and provides deeper clarity and a large surface table (hey, we have our eyes on you). *Low-key, manifesting the Classic Winston Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring from the man of my dreams.* It offers high clarity and is particularly reflective in nature. 
Brilliance does not top everyone’s wish list and that is why oval, marquise, and even pear shaped diamonds work wonders, too. When a diamond’s proportions are cut to perfection, light enters and exits the diamond through the surface.

Red flag

It is worth noting that if a solitaire’s cut is too shallow or deep, light will escape through the bottom or sides of the diamond. As a result, it will have less light reflection and a duller appearance.

At the end of the day, it’s truly personal when it comes to the jewellery that catches your eye. Always remember that an excellent quality cut, no matter the shape will ultimately deliver and stay with you for years to come.

Colour

NECKLACE ARAYA FINE JEWELRY • DROP RING  KAT KIM

Before the GIA introduced a formal system on grading the hues of diamond, there was no standard terminology to explain a diamond’s colour. In order to avoid confusion, GIA decided to colour grade diamonds starting from D and working their way down the alphabet with solitaires whose yellow saturation increases up to Z.

Green flag

It is worth noting that, In the range of D to Z—the rarest ones are the D colour diamonds. And they are also the most valuable—indeed a green flag! 


 In general, the best quality diamonds have a colour grade of D (colourless) and a clarity grade of FL (flawless) or IF (internally flawless). Expensive and rare, these are nothing short of a dream come true. 

Lower colour grades such as G or H can still appear almost colourless to the naked eye and are more affordable.

Red flag

However, a red flag would be a brown or yellow solitaire since they have the lowest quality. Lastly, avoid opting for diamonds beyond the mark M on the scale for jewellery.

Clarity

EARRINGS DIAMONDTREE • BANGLE NUUN JEWELS

Every single diamond that you come across has had its own journey through time. During the journey of approximately 3 billion years, diamonds have their own ‘birthmarks’ and characteristics called inclusions. These are minute and can be only seen by trained professionals.

Green flag

It is these inclusions which make your solitaire one of its kind. A diamond’s clarity is measured through a clarity scale which begins from  Flawless (FL) and ends at Included (I). Anything between these markings will make for a great pick. 

Red flag

Any diamond featuring inclusions between I1 and 13 is a big red flag. After all, you don’t want to be deceived by love and jewellery.  Some inclusions might be hidden by the sparkle under apt lighting at the desk. Soon enough, you’ll be in the kitchen and notice a black mark. Save your heart a heartbreak and get your hands on the certification report from grading entities such as GIA or IGI. 
Pro tip: when evaluating a diamond, it doesn’t have to be at the top of the grading scale, it should simply appear clean to your eyes. It is important to know that the clearer the diamond, the heftier the price tag.

Carat

EAR CUFF ANITA KO  • RING GRACE LEE

You’ll be surprised to know that the adage that size matters doesn’t hold much weight when it comes to diamonds. Bigger carats doesn’t guarantee the best diamond as much as the cut of the gem does. The number of carats you opt for is completely subjective and depends on the kind of style you aim for. Hence, we don’t have any red or green flags here. However, when deciding on the carat, know that is the standard unit of weight used for diamonds just like other gemstones. 

For diamonds, the metric carat is defined as one-fifth of a gram or 0.200 grams. The way a stone is cut helps determine the carat weight.

No one aspect of a  can help you make a befitting choice. Every C is connected to the other and will help you make the best possible decision in buying an heirloom that will continue to stay for generations to come.